Creating a Sticky Web Site

When used to describe a web site, the term "sticky" refers to a site that is able to get viewers to stay at the site longer and come back frequently. Sticky web sites are more likely to turn viewers into customers.

10 Ways to Make Your Web Site "Sticky"

1. Keep content fresh! Feed daily news or update the site frequently with new information.

2. Use appropriate interactive tools for feedback and user participation such as chat rooms, discussion boards, polls and surveys, or feedback forms.

3. Teach your viewers. Adding tutorials and quick how-to articles to your site is a great way to bring viewers back. Proving you're an expert in your field will also help turn viewers into customers.

4. Offer an electronic newsletter. Allow viewers to subscribe to your "e-newsletter" and include advertisements or descriptions of your new products and services in the newsletter.

5. Keep your web site pages light in content. In other words, don't fill the screen with a lot of text and expect your viewers to stick around!

6. Make the navigation intuitive. Use familiar navigation tools such as hyperlinks, buttons, or pull-down menus. Ask others to navigate your site and give you feedback. Better still, make it possible for viewers to provide feedback when they're not able to find what they're looking for.

7. Give something away for free and hold a contest that allows viewers to enter daily! What better prize to give away than your products or services?

8. Brand your web site with your corporate identity. Make sure your logo is on the site and visible to the viewer. Displaying the web site's address on the page along with your organization's contact information will help them find their way back to you.

9. Provide value-add information to your viewers. This could include recommended books, tips, top tens, product manuals, tools for download, or other useful information.

10. Make your site visually appealing and easy to read. Dark text on a light background is more apt to keep your viewers reading. Keep the graphics to a minimum, though! Excessive use of graphics will force your pages to load slower and potentially turn your viewers away.

Sherry Schuller is President of ViralCommerce.com and Zabbo Communications. She is the founder of the Conference on Strategic Growth for Businesses and Entrepreneurs, co-author of 222 Ways to Entrepreneurial Success, and has assisted many organizations with strategic planning, branding, marketing, advertising design, training, and application development. She was previously an Internet Specialist for IBM's leading North American distributor, Business Partner Solutions (now Avnet), and an independent consultant for various firms, including PRIMEDIA, Inc., the leading provider of targeted content and integrated marketing solutions in consumer and business-to-business sectors.

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